Bobby Lashley Confirms Some Within WWE Were 'Very Against' CM Punk's Return
WWE unhappiness over CM Punk's return confirmed
Bobby Lashley has confirmed reports there was somewhat of a backlash to WWE bringing back CM Punk, revealing to WrestlingNews.co that "some people were very against" Punk's return.
Speaking more broadly about WWE signing Punk, Lashley stated:
"I really don't know, to be honest with you. I was actually leaving [WWE in 2008) around the time when Punk was really starting to pick up a little steam. I mean, he was there, but he really didn't do anything at that time. And I know he had a big impact in WWE in his time there. I spoke with some of the guys that know him. I got mixed feelings. Some people were very against it, some people were, you know, whatever. But you know, it's a land of opportunity. So, if he comes back and he helps out the show, and that's the business side of it. I don't really know Punk too personally. When I was fighting, he went to UFC. I put my money on him. So he does owe me a little bit of money (Laughs). Twice. I was like, Oh, you could do it. Come on.
"For integrity purposes, I understand he has a big name, he's coming back. And he's gonna do some big numbers, but I hope they make him kind of work for some of the stuff. I hope he's not one of the people that 'Oh okay, he comes back, gonna win the Rumble, we're gonna do this, we're gonna do that.' I hope they give him an opportunity to kind of prove his loyalty to the business and some of the people in there just to let everybody know, some of the naysayers, some of the people that aren't too happy about him being there. I hope he has his opportunity to work his way back up to the top and not just [be] given everything, because maybe he negotiated a good contract that allowed him to do that."
CM Punk made his WWE return at Survivor Series on November 25. There was immediately a mixture of opinions within WWE, with numerous talents said to be unhappy with the decision. Some of that reaction was quelled by Monday Night Raw, though, as Punk was said to be humble backstage at the event. This didn't stop top talents from having a meeting with WWE higher-ups to receive assurances over Punk within the company.
Punk became a source of major controversy during his time in All Elite Wrestling to the point it is believed he has a behaviour clause in his WWE contract.
On WWE TV, Punk will make his return to SmackDown on Friday night. He looks set to enter a programme with Seth Rollins over the World Heavyweight Championship as WWE builds to the Royal Rumble in late January.